Give yourself a simpler start with natural remedies thanks to these helpful tips from an herbalist and aromatherapist who’s been there.
No matter how excited you are to get started with natural remedies, there’s a lot you have to take in.
You have to learn a new lingo, find trusted sources for the information you need, and decide which remedies you’ll use and which might end up as expensive medicine cabinet clutter.
And unfortunately, that’s not always as easy as you’d like it to be. But it doesn’t have to be so complicated, either.
If you’re ready to finally make progress with natural remedies without all the overwhelm, I have 7 tips that give you the perfect place to start.
It Wasn’t That Long Ago
As an herbalist and aromatherapist, I’ve talked with countless people who want to feel better and improve their health using natural remedies.
I’ve also heard the same guilt-inducing setbacks mentioned time and time again. Things like
- “Natural remedies are so expensive. I don’t know what I actually need.”
- “It’s really hard to know what information is true and who I can trust.“
- “I’m overwhelmed by all the options out there and don’t even know where to start!“
But if you lean it close, I have a secret for you. It wasn’t that long ago that I got stuck with those same issues.
At least, not so long that I can’t remember what it felt like as a young family, living on a beginner teacher’s salary, and learning how to live naturally when there wasn’t a lot of time or money to spare.
But over time, I’ve noticed something.
No matter who I talk to, I always come back to a small number of simple, foundational solutions that can take natural remedies off the “someday” to-do list and actually make them doable.
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#1: Check Your Foundation
You don’t have to know a thing about construction to know that you’d waste a small fortune by installing elaborate stained glass windows and vintage hardwood flooring in a house with a cracked and sinking foundation.
The same principle holds true with natural remedies.
You might be excited and anxious to dive right in with herbs, essential oils, and other supplements, but if you’re not careful, you could end up adding fancy ornaments to a faulty foundation.
Instead, you’ll have much better results and spend less money by checking in on your diet and lifestyle habits first. (Boring advice, I know!)
- Do you usually eat lots of nutrient-dense foods close to the way God made them, or do you fall back on packaged, process, and takeout foods more than you’d like to admit?
- How much healthy movement and sleep does your body get every day?
- Do you drink plenty of water, or do you end up sipping caffeinated or sweetened drinks throughout the day?
- Are you regularly exposed to man-made chemicals in your cleaning and personal care products, like artificial fragrances and parabens?
- How does your stress load make you feel?
Obviously, you can’t do everything perfectly. But it’s highly likely you’ll see striking improvements in your health just by taking care of these key foundational areas. No herbs or remedies required.
Give your foundation the attention it deserves.
#2: Trust the Snowball Technique
When my husband and I got serious about managing our money, we learned about the Snowball Technique. We focused our attention on a small debt and worked to get rid of it. Once we paid it off, we took that payment and rolled it into the next debt.
Finding success with that first debt gave us the motivation we needed to keep moving forward.
You can do the same thing when you start using natural remedies.
You see, you can’t overhaul your diet, medicine cabinet, and lifestyle all at once. But you can start with one small, simple change that will snowball into major transformations over time.
And make it easy on yourself. Start with something so simple that you can’t say no, like switching to the free & clear version of your favorite cleaning product or using real butter instead of margarine.
Then celebrate each little change because it’s snowballing into something bigger, even if you don’t see it yet.
If you’re not exactly sure where to start, my free guide 3 Simple Things You Can Get at the Grocery Store Tomorrow to Get a Jumpstart with Natural Health will get your wheels turning. Just enter your email address below to get your copy when you join my email community.
#3: Start with Simple
The latest supplement craze usually comes with slick marketing that leaves you feeling like you’re going to miss out on better health if you don’t click the buy button.
The fresh garlic and ginger on your grocery store shelves? Not so much.
Expensive supplements can have their place in a health protocol, especially if you’re dealing with a significant concern. I sometimes suggest them to my clients.
But too often, those pricey pills and bottles aren’t as necessary as their advertising leads you to believe.
In fact, you’re more likely to have success when you start with time-tested, familiar remedies available at your local grocery store. These items are inexpensive and easy to find.
Once you experience success with them, you can then move on to specialized supplements because you’ll have the confidence to use them well.
If you’re not sure where to start, my eBook The Minimalist Natural Medicine Cabinet can help. In it, I’ll show you how to use a small number of simple remedies to treat common health concerns like headaches, fevers, colds, warts, burns, and more.
#4: Focus on What Matters Most
When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after having my first baby, all of my attention shifted to removing things that could harm my thyroid and finding foods and supplements that would support it.
I wasn’t concerned about herbs for strong bones. I needed to hone in one area, and I was determined to find solutions.
When you start with an immediate health need and focus on the remedies that will support it, you can take advantage of the motivation and urgency you feel to get better or see improvements.
As you start to see the remedies go to work and your changes pay off, you’ll be fueled to keep moving forward.
This doesn’t mean you’ll just ignore everything else in your lifestyle that you want to improve, of course. You simply tell yourself that you’ll get to those other things later.
If you need help sorting through all of the health concerns you want to improve and changes you want to make, you don’t have to do it alone. I can help.
#5: Make It Easier On Yourself
If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a ruined DIY natural remedy project, you know what it’s like to feel waves of frustration over the wasted time, money, and energy that went into the flop.
In the past, if you wanted high-quality natural products, you had to make them yourself. You might have even had to grow or forage for the herbs yourself, too!
But with the exploding natural products market, you can find anything you need with just a few clicks. Even major grocery stores and big-box stores carry some excellent products.
That’s why I suggest skipping the whole DIY game when you’re first venturing into the natural remedies world. You need to set yourself up for as much success as possible and eliminate the wildcards that might give you unnecessary trouble.
Once you know what you like and what works for you, you can learn how to make your own.
If you’re not sure where to look for quality natural remedies, I suggest starting with Mountain Rose Herbs. You can find lovely tea blends, herbal extracts, natural skincare, and more.
#6: Don’t Fly Solo
No one likes to feel alone and misunderstood. And if you don’t know anyone else who’s into natural remedies, you might experience some awkwardness as you leave your conventional ways behind.
People you love might think you’re going overboard, you’ve lost your sense of fun, or you’re judging them because of your health-based choices.
That’s why community and support are so vital.
It’s important to have a network of people in your life who recognize that natural remedies work and healthy living matters. They’ll keep you encouraged and remind you that you’re not alone or crazy.
Start by checking out the community boards at nearby health food stores, coffee shops, or libraries for upcoming classes or meet-ups if you need help connecting. You might be surprised how many people in your community are interested in natural remedies!
If you can’t find a local circle of people who support your natural preferences, internet groups can be a great substitute.
#7: Know Who to Trust
Speaking of the internet, it’s a double-edged sword.
On one hand, it gives you the opportunity to learn, find community, and buy the products you need. But on the other hand, you can find a lot of hype, dishonest marketing, and junky information out there, too.
So while I know this is tricky at first, it’s crucial to learn how to spot questionable sources and find the best books and other resources. There aren’t hard and fast rules that work every time, but some guiding principles can help you discern who to trust.
- Look for people who’ve invested time and money in independent, brand-neutral natural health education. Anyone who shares health and wellness information should also be able to explain their qualifications for doing so.
- Keep a healthy dose of skepticism if someone is selling you something while they’re giving you advice or information, whether that’s at a class, conference, or at the health food store. Be especially on guard if they’re pitching a cure-all remedy! Your momma was right when she warned you about things that seem too good to be true.
- Remember that most doctors, nurses, and other health professionals don’t receive any education in natural remedies. Their expertise lies elsewhere. So while you should always be honest with your healthcare provider about the herbs and supplements you take, keep in mind that he or she may not be able to give you the most accurate natural health information. That’s what herbalists, aromatherapists, and other natural health professionals are for.
You Have to Start to Succeed
These 7 tips aren’t flashy. You probably already knew about a few of them.
But it’s easy to forget how foundational things can make a big impact when you’re diving into the new and very big world of natural remedies.
So start here. Start small and simple. Give yourself permission to take it one step at a time and enjoy the journey.
There’s plenty of time for you to learn how to create custom essential oil blends, tincture herbs you grew, and formulate your own natural skincare. That will all come as you gain more knowledge and experience.
But you have to start somewhere. And starting simple often means you end up with success.
Then, in a few years, don’t be surprised if you’re the experienced one giving this same advice to someone who’s new to it all.